Every day Allah gives us the sun and moon and air to breathe and carry on to live. Each day, He also gives us that moment which could change our life forever; one moment that could change the events and things which make our lives unhappy.
But that moment is a conquest.
Each one of us is in the journey to find that magical moment. Some takes only few years to find it, for many it takes half of their lifetime or even takes until their last living breath to realize it.
Each time we fail, we always utter “it’s not the right time yet” or “I am just at the wrong time.”
But how many of us really take a time to pay attention to our everyday lives? How many really take seriously that each of our action at present could make whatever we are in the future?
The golden key is lying somewhere hidden from the eyes that don’t see.
It isn’t obviously kept in the most obvious place. For our lives are designed to go on like a maze - to find the extraordinary moment without foreseeing what beholds us in the future. We may fail a million times, drown in a myriad of hurdles and suffer from seem to be endless disappointments, but each time we see the sun rising and the moon lighting our dark, vast maze it is a reminder that the miracle lives in us, in you. Each thing, each action, each step, each word is a key to your happiness – you may stumble at first but it’s a lesson to take during your journey.
Believe that may it be simple or extravagant thing, the key is just there waiting and screaming to be found. And it’s your choices that make it happen.
First babyfood introduced by a first time mom
Either your a mom who prefers ready-to-eat ‘fresh’ from the market shelves jarred baby food or a mom who tries to make a fresh home-made food, I am sure you all agree that as the baby grow older, the demand of work and your time is also increasing.
But whatever you put into your baby’s mouth is a mother and father or parents’ choice! You choose it because….????
For me, and for my husband, making fresh baby food is our choice. It’s wayyyy healthier than those easily grabbed and for convenience jarred baby food.
For a first time mom like me, I try my best to educate myself and to become well-informed mom - by reading and also by talking to moms alike.
It helped so much on how my 8 month child now eats - a good and happy eater, and vegie lover!
I know its too early to celebrate but I also believe that child’s taste will be influenced on how and what parents introduced at the earliest stage.
Ok, for our child, she started solids exactly 6 months of age. Not 5 months. Not 4 months. Not when she started showing signs of interest in eating. Not when looking at us with curiosity while eating. Not when she’s drooling by her uber interest on what we are doing.
We chose to wait. Patience. Six months is what the World Health Organization recommended age in introducing solids to babies for many scientific and health reasons. I will not explain it here.
Also based on other moms experience, it pays off to wait. Their babies are much easy to feed, doesn’t throw up food, and are less picky-eaters. So in the future, it actually works in parents advantage.
There you go!
So what’s my baby’s first food? Am proud to say, it’s mashed banana! And she was ecstatic!!!! If only she could jump, she would jump of joy. On how amazing that slimy thing in her mouth is! She was all-smiling!
Mashed banana is a no brainer recipe. Get ripe banana, peel it off and mash it with spoon to the desired consistency. For a baby beginning to eat, you need to mash it puree-like. For my 8-month old baby who have 4 teeth already, she could take a small bite or small slice now.
So that’s the first baby food for first time mom planning to give their baby/ies healthier food as much as possible!
More to come. So keep coming back for updates.
Investment grade na ang Pinas!
“So what?!? Mataas pa rin ang bilihin, mababa pa rin ang sweldo ko. Di ko naman mararamdaman yan. Mayayaman lang naman ang nakikinabang. Ang anak ko kelangan pa ring mag-abroad.”
Iilan lang yan sa mga maririnig mong opinyon ng ating kapwa. At iilan lang iyan sa mga opinyon mula sa mga taong naghihintay na ang pera ang lalapit sa kanila. And I would say, that would never happen. Bakit nakakalakad ba ang pera? May buhay ba iyan?
Anyways, meron akong nakitang napakasimpleng paliwanag at actually makulay at entertaining paliwanag kung ano ang ibig sabihin ng investment grade sa ating mga Pilipino.
[RAPPLER’s Infographics: what an investment grade means to Philippines]
Simple lang di ba? Maliban diyan, gusto ko rin i-share ang natutunan ko in the last 10 years. Make saving a dime a habit.
Kahit piso, singkwenta or isang libo, walang pinagkaiba yan. You can spend every cent of your sweldo in just one minute! Kung may credit card/s ka pa, naku! Mas mabilis at hindi agad ramdam ang pagwawaldas. Yun nga lang, parang bagyo nga lang na bubuhos ang sakit sa bulsa! Hehe. Iyan ay mangyayari kung one-day millionaire ka o wala kang disiplina pagdating sa pera.
Ok, balik sa pag-iipon. Base sa aking experience, it takes time before you can master the habit of saving. Ako ay nagsimula ako since elementary pa ako with my little Cotabato City Rural Bank alkansiya made of bao <coconut shell polished with some cute paintings>. So I had my first pass book (I think I was 10 years old pa). I go to the bank to deposit those bunch of coins. But also there are times, ubos ko agad ang aking baon at walang naipon! Then later on, I moved on to using ATM by another bank. Hinuhulug-hulogan ng pakonte-konte. Then withdraw na naman hanggang ubos na naman… Siyempre, bata ka pa, peer-pressure is mounting pag teens na at maraming magaganda sa mata sa paligid. Kaya, ang pera mabilis ding nauubos.
Up to college, I maintained an account. On and off din ang pera. My allowance from my scholarship ay ihuhulog ko sa account ko and save it for the next sem. I think that’s one of my successes in disciplining myself from material indulgence.
Alam mo, nakikita mo ang mga kaklase mo at kaibigan suot-suot ang mga magagarang damit at sapatos, bagong bag at cellphone. Nainggit ba ako? Oo naman. Normal naman yun, pero ang lagi kong natatandaan na tinaga ko sa bato na, one day pag ako’y may trabaho na, bibilhin ko ang pinaka-latest na cellphone. At ginawa ko yun. Pero pagkatapos nun, tapos na rin ang aking indulgence sa materyal na bagay.
Sa una, mahirap maging consistent. Pero ganun talaga. It takes time and lots of practice. Practice. practice. Para maging isang bisyo siya.
Since ten years ago, marunong na ako sa pera. Ang ibig kong sabihin, alam ko na kung paano at kung saan dapat gagamitin. At kadalasan kung kelan dapat magsabi ng “No”, “Hindi”, “Dili”. Totoo, kelangan kong maging kuripot kadalasan. Hindi naman masama yun. Sino ba ang makikinabang? Siyempre ang pamilya at anak ko rin. At maging mga taong naaalala ka lang pag may problema sila! And besides, lahat ng taong nasa paligid ko ay nakikinabang dahil hindi ako nagiging perwisyo at dagdag problema sa sosyedad sa halip ay nakakatulong pa.
Pero kadalasan, karamihan sa atin dahil sa kung gaano pinapahalagaan ang sasabihin ng iba, mas importante pang maging bongga at laging branded ang gamit para di sabihing naghihirap kahit pa na mabaon sa utang at walang makain o kaya isang araw susugod sa bahay ang mga pinagkakautangan! Gusto kasi ng karamihan na ‘mayaman’ ang tingin sa kanila.
Ok fine ulit, naka-iPhone ako, may Macbook ako at kung ano-ano pang gadgets. Mahilig ako dun eh pero kailangan ko rin ang mga iyon, sa personal at trabaho. Pero hindi mo naman akong makikitang, kada may bagong iPhone o anong gadgets ay bibilhin ko. At pinag-iisipan ko rin kung bakit yun ang aking bibilhin. At ang pinaka-importante, hindi ako nangungutang at pasok sa aking budget.
Sa ngayon, tuwing buwan na papasok ang sweldo, laging nakabudget na ang lahat. Sa lagay na ito, nag-papaaral pa ako ng aking kapatid na kumukuha ng nursing na kurso. Malaking parte ng sweldo ko ay dun din napupunta sa kapatid ko. Pero kahit anong mangyari, isa sa natutunan ko in the past two years ay siguraduhing merong nakalaan para sa aking ‘investment.’
Higit sa lahat, simple lang kaming mag-asawa hanggang sa maliit pa naming anak. Mas gugustuhin pa naming makaipon para sa aming retirement at future ng aming anak, maging sa aming mga biyahe kesa sa mga mahahaling damit, bags at kung ano-ano pa. Alam mo, pag ang buhay mo ay laging nasa plane, di mo madadala lahat yun eh. The more light-weight you bring the better. Less hassle at less stress and pain pa!
I think, base sa obserbasyon naming mag-asawa, kaya karamihan sa mga OFW ay umuuwing luhaan at walang naipundar ay dahil sila ay hindi marunong sa pera. It’s either they let money manipulate their perspective o kaya naman they let others to manipulate them because of their money (kahit pa na kung tutuusin ay kulang pa ang halaga). Kadalasan, makikita mong aas magarbo pa silang manamit sa kanilang amo, at lahat ng kadramahan ng kamag-anak sa Pilipinas ay kinukunsinti, kaya ayun, ang maliit na sweldo na nakuha sa dugo’t pawis ay nauwi sa wala.
Isa dapat sa matutunan ng karamihan ay magbigay ng limitasyon sa kanilang sarili at disiplinahin ang sarili. Oo, sa una sasabihin nila na palibhasa’t may pinagkukunan na ng kinabubuhay ay naging makasarili na (sagot: bakit hindi ba’t lagi ka namang tumutulong sa kanila, kahit ikaw na mismo ang walang makain?). Pero ang isipin mo lagi, mas masarap na pag ikaw ay may problema ay di ka magiging perwisyo sa buhay ng iba, kahit pa may utang na loob sila sayo. Dahil di mo alam ang ikot ng pagkakataon. Kung ikaw ba ay walang-wala na at nagkasakit, nandiyan ba sila para sa iyo? o meron kaya sila maitulong sa iyo pag ikaw naman ang nangangailangan? (sagot: siyempre, sasabihin nilang oo, pero malalaman mo lang ang kasagutan pag nandun ka na sa sitwasyong iyon.)
That’s all for now, ang tamaan, e di tinamaan. :-D
I dedicate it to all mothers for all the ups and downs, the pains and joys, the meltdowns and dedications, the sorrows and patience, the tears and laughters, and the unconditional love through and through lighting up life of others.
Photo: Dr. Jill Seaman has spent decades working to bring modern medicine to South Sudan. © Marco Grob
Dr. Jill Seman has worked with MSF in the past, bringing the best treatment for Kala Azar in South Sudan. Below is a snippet of her interview with National Geographic on what it means to be a war zone doctor:
Your clinic’s been bombed and burned. But you insist you’re not a risk taker.
I’m not. I’m serious. I have a passion for health care and for Sudan. I can tell you lots of things that have happened that are scary, like a massacre in a town just north of us that killed maybe 200 people in a couple of hours. They just shot at people, at women washing their clothes. But that has nothing to do with why I’m here.
But you are there. And it is risky, no?
The thing is, it’s not that I’m taking risks. Everybody’s taking risks. Life is a risk. Everybody who lives there, they know that life could be gone in an hour. And yet they live. And they are happy. And I get to touch millions of people and hopefully help them. How could I be more lucky?
What I managed to #doodle in 1.5 hr staff meeting today. Faces of colleagues (only few of ‘em). (at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF))
A first time mom’s reflection
Eight months ago, my journey of motherhood began. I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew that for nine months I have been carrying the little one in my womb, I could not wait to finally meet her, face-to-face.
When the day came, I recalled, I was nervous but in cloud number 9. Having gone through the pain of labour that no words can explain, I finally met my little girl that I am bound to love like no other, forever, in lifetime and in hereafter.
The first time I saw her, it was a love at first sight. What I saw wasn’t just a baby, but a miracle – a totality of all the wonderful blessings I received in my whole life. Each day I see her, hold her, kiss her, talk to her, laugh with her, I find meaning of my existence in every moment. Every moment of my experience with her seems like a binding spell.
I may feel all the fatigue. I may dread and long for a sound and content sleep after months of sleepless nights. I may miss all the wonderful movies in the cinema that everyone is raving about. I may refuse to join weekend away or night-out with friends and colleagues. I may put down from top of my list to spend some time for myself and with my husband. I may miss so many things I used to do and enjoy. But every time I see my little one and her lovely innocent smile, I felt I have everything in the world.
She may have the tantrums. She may be showing signs of “I want what I want”. She may screams. She may cry at night. She may fuss when bored. She may fill up my bottle of patience, some times. But never had I felt angry with her. All I could do is understand that she needs something, and I need to give and provide it to her.
Having experienced all these, I thought of my mom. My mom who had sacrificed her teenage life to make eight of us the best person we can be. I also can’t understand why there are mothers and fathers who are so selfish and they would even disregard their children’s happiness and well-being? I know that being a perfect mom (or a parent) is the most difficult job in the world but every parent is obliged to be, at least do her very best to become a good parent. And that is one of my goals. Because one day, I would like to hear my daughter expressing how proud she is that I am her mom.
Then I thought of my father. I may not have given everything that he liked and wanted for me. I even had gone against something unthinkable. But at the end of the day, he gave in to my life’s decision when he thought that I would be happy and safe even if it’s not the best he wants for me.
Indeed, parenthood comes with a special package of so many challenges and sacrifices, some unique on its own, some are not uncommon at all.
And I am just starting to experience my own rollercoaster ride. Am I ready? I think so - not only today but even for years to come – mentally, psychologically, emotionally, socially, and financially. I am ready and my longer-term goal is? That one day in the future, I can look back at the past that I did what a mom must and should do. Which, I see it everyday through my daughter’s reflection that she is a happy, content, compassionate, conscientious and loving, smart and wise child. Insha’allah.
Halfway to go. Baby Sofie’s dinner: #congee with green leafy vegie (kale). Grateful that she loves veg so much!!! (at Connaught Garden)